The Philadelphia 76ers are entering a new era. One man that they reportedly hope will be a part of that new era is Golden State Warriors restricted free agent Harrison Barnes.
The Sixers plan to be serious suitors for Golden State restricted free agent Harrison Barnes at the start of free agency, league sources say
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 28, 2016
As is the case with any potential free-agent deal, it’s difficult to judge without knowing the financial details. Still, even without knowing what Philadelphia is prepared to spend, this does not seem like a good fit. The 76ers are still very much a young team without anyone that resembles a proven star.
The last two postseasons have shown exactly what Barnes can be.
In 2015, the Warriors were fairly healthy. This means that Barnes was relied on to hit open shots and maybe pick up the slack when one of Golden State’s big guns was off. That worked well.
The Warriors went 16-5 in the postseason and won the championship. Barnes was not a small part of that.
In 2016, Golden State was a little more banged up. Some of the rotation players were struggling. As such, Barnes needed to do a little more. The Warriors in turn went 15-9 in the playoffs and lost the finals, blowing a 3-1 series lead in the process. Barnes was not solely to blame, but he wasn’t a small part of that either.
Barnes has just not developed enough to be a building block type of player. He makes sense for a team like the Portland Trailblazers. He may make sense for other good teams, including possibly the Warriors.
Where Barnes will not make sense is anywhere where he’d have to step in and be “the guy.” That’s something that he’d likely have to be in Philadelphia, at least until some of the team’s youngsters emerge.
Additionally, while we don’t know the exact terms, Barnes is not likely to be cheap. With a rising salary cap, we can pretty safely assume that some team will overpay Barnes this summer. The 76ers should not be that team.